Today's sermon touched on the point that, as Christians, we should not blend in with the rest of the world. We should stand out.
After our worship service, we dismiss to small groups where we discuss the morning's message. So we talked about it. Yes, everyone agreed. We should not blend in. Yes, we all agreed, Christians should look different.
But we never exactly pinpointed HOW that looks. I wondered at lunch to S how many folks would go home and think hard about that message this morning. How many folks, do you think, will go home and question their family's decisions? I wondered because right after the sermon I passed several of our teens at church who have piercings in their face and the latest fashions on. I wondered because of the things I see on people's Facebook pages.
It's not just about outward appearance, I know. Oh there is so much to think about. This topic is near and dear to my heart as it's what this blog is ABOUT.
I've told this story before, but years ago I watched one of the first specials about the Duggar family on TV. I was pretty impressed and curious about this family. I began reading and poking around online and what impressed me the most was......for every decision in their lives, they had a scripture to back it up. This interested me. Most people, including us at the time, live their lives pretty much like everyone around them, except they read their Bible and go to church.
So I began praying for God to change our family to how He wanted us to be. I talked to S about it too. We decided that, other than where we spent our time on Sundays.....we weren't too different than any other young family. Sure, there were all the things we didn't do.....we didn't drink, or smoke, or cuss, or go to bars. But did we stand out? Were we really living like we were different? Were we just reading God's word for encouragement, or using God's word to base our decisions on? Big difference.
Since that time, oh my word, I have re-thought (or rather thought-for-the-first-time) many, many things. How should I wear my hair? How should I dress? What does modesty mean? How should I treat my husband? What are my responsibilities as a parent? As a wife and mother, what would God have me to do? Who should be training and teaching our children? What hobbies should we have? What should we watch on TV? What music should we listen to? How should we treat others?
Oh I know I'm not listing everything there (feel free to throw some more things out in the comments) but the point is, the way we were living, and expected to live in the future.....changed. When we considered God first, decisions were different.
If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have told you our kids would go to school (hopefully not in full-time daycare before they started), date, graduate, go to college, get married, etc. And us? We would work until we paid off the college and then work toward retirement.
That plan is pretty much shot now. Thankfully, God has set us on a different path. We cannot honestly tell you what will happen in a few years, but we know that the Lord's will comes first. And I know we have been blessed by the changes in our life.
So what do you say? How should Christians stand out from the world. Surely it's more than just an internal change. And yes, I understand that the Lord is the one who makes us new---we cannot just "decide" to change our lives. But when we are living in obedience to Him.....how do we then stand out? What do you say?